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Research and Demonstration Activities

(i) Participatory Variety Selection

Participatory Variety Selection (PVS) is an on-farm experiment conducted jointly by farmers and scientists aiming to identify locally adapted and high yielding varieties. About 8-10 pre-release and released varieties are tested in PVS. PVS is conducted following mother- baby trial concepts.

(ii) Informal Research and Development

Informal Research and Development (IRD) consists of distributing a maize seed kit of about 1 kg to the farmer for him/her to test and compare promising varieties with their local varieties. Farmer feedback/responses are used by breeding programs in varietal improvement.

(iii) Intercropping Trial

The intercropping trial (ICT) is both research and demonstration where various combinations of trials (e.g. maize + ginger; maize + vegetables; maize + soybean etc.) are carried out in the farmer fields and evaluated in terms of crop combinations and farm profits.

(iv) Diamond Trial

Diamond trials are conducted on-farm, generally with large plots (50 m2 – 125 m2) depending on the nature of trials and technology to be evaluated/verified. Smaller plot size is suggested for maize + vegetable intercropping. A diamond trial is a demonstration where farmers can clearly distinguish treatment effects, if any. The treatments are usually at two levels, such as new/improved vs existing.